The annual Detroit Institute of Arts Gala was as elegant as ever on Saturday, but this year, event planners decided to kick it up a notch with vibrantly colored decor. Fabrics,flowers and lanterns drenched in fiery orange, red, and yellow, teamed with teal, fuchsia and violet lined the walls, ceiling and tables. The theme was Splendors of India and Asia, a celebration of the newly re-installed Robert and Katherine Jacobs Asian Wing.

The evening began with a cocktail reception and guests taking a first-look tour of the new wing. The Indian and Southeast Asian gallery offers enlightening opportunities to enjoy contemporary international and local art together with historical pieces. A very inspiring red disc by Anish Kapoor, acting like a magnet, forcefully attracts visitors into the space, while to the left, a bronze statue of the Hindu god Ganesha welcomes everyone with its joyful action. This deity with an elephant head is well known in Asia as the one worshipers invoke as remover of obstacles.

After the cocktail hour, the more than 500 guests were seated in galleries throughout the museum for multi-course meals paired with superb wine and exceptional staff service by Forte Belanger. Courses included slow cooked leg of lamb, seared tenderloin and poached line-caught sea bass with beluga lentils. After dinner, guests were ushered to the Kresge Court for dessert, dancing and entertainment.

“Over the past six months, Gala co-chairs Cynthia Ford, Anne G. Fredericks and Anita Rajpal have worked tirelessly to create a truly memorable experience,” says DIA director, president and CEO Salvador Salort-Pons. “We also want to thank our top sponsors, the Ford Motor Company Fund and Padma and Raj Vattikuti and family.”

Tickets for the black-tie event ranged from $750 to $5,000 with proceeds benefiting DIA operations and endowment.

Chuck Bennett is the creator of and hosts “Happy Hour” Monday-Friday from 5-7 p.m. on 910AM Superstation.


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